|Broadcast area||Southwest Virginia and Central Virginia|
|Frequency||89.1 MHz (HD Radio)|
|Affiliations||BBC World Service|
National Public Radio
Public Radio International
First air date
Former call signs
|90.1 MHz (1973–1975)|
Call sign meaning
|Virginia Tech Foundation|
|Translator(s)||See § Low power translators|
WVTF is the National Public Radio affiliate serving most of southwestern Virginia. The station is licensed to Roanoke, Virginia, and owned by Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) through its fundraising arm, the Virginia Tech Foundation. It airs a format of news and talk programming from NPR, BBC World Service, Public Radio International and other outlets.
WVTF began broadcasting in August 1973 as WVWR-FM (Virginia Western Radio) and was licensed to Virginia Western Community College in Roanoke. It was used primarily to air college telecourses and give broadcasting students a chance to hone their skills. In 1975, WVWR-FM's transmitter was moved from Fishburn Hall on the VWCC campus to Poor Mountain, where most of Roanoke's major radio and television stations have their transmitters. The power also was increased from 4,100 watts to 100,000 watts. The power boost tripled its coverage area, giving it at least secondary coverage of much of central and southwest Virginia, southern West Virginia and northern North Carolina.
In 1979, WVWR-FM began the Radio Reading Service on its subcarrier frequency.
In 1981, state officials decided that no state agency should directly own a radio station, and Virginia Western was forced to sell. The Virginia Tech Foundation, financially independent of Virginia Tech but controlled by school leadership, expressed interest in buying the station. It not only wanted to preserve public radio in the region, but saw WVWR as a way to increase Virginia Tech's ties to Roanoke. The foundation formally took control in 1982 and initially applied for the call sign WRVT before settling on WVTF. Over the next decade, WVTF built translator after translator to better serve its mostly mountainous coverage area.
From 1980 to 2017, WVTF and its repeaters maintained a schedule typical of full-service public radio stations, with NPR news in drive times, classical music during the day and overnight, and various special music and talk programming on nights and weekends.
In 2003, WVTF launched Radio IQ in order to provide a secondary schedule consisting only of news/talk programming, including retransmission of the BBC World Service overnight. Radio IQ broadcast over its own network of stations, consisting of extra signals that were overlapped by WVTF's network, as well as those in areas such as Richmond which receive a music and news schedule from another NPR member station. Radio IQ began with WWVT (1260 AM, Christiansburg). The service quickly expanded to WFFC (89.9 FM, Ferrum), the former Ferrum College student radio station, and WVTW (88.5 FM), an extra station in Charlottesville. Radio IQ signed on WRIQ in Lexington in 2011 and purchased WQIQ near Fredericksburg in 2013.
On July 10, 2017, Radio IQ became WVTF's main service, and the station itself rebranded from "WVTF Public Radio" to "Radio IQ". Three of the five existing Radio IQ stations (WVTW, WQIQ, and WRIQ) merged with WVTF and its network (WVTR, WVTU, and WISE-FM) to place the news and talk schedule on as many full-powered signals as possible. A new companion service, WVTF Music, launched on the remaining stations (WWVT and WFFC, later renamed WWVT-FM) and HD2 subchannels of the new combined Radio IQ network. Low-powered translators of the previous WVTF and Radio IQ networks were divided between the two services. WVTF Music took over all music programming, including daily blocks of classical music, specialty local programs, and Live From Here.
Radio IQ's programming has been heard in portions of the Greater Richmond Region on low-powered translator W223AZ (92.5 FM) since 2009. In October 2019, WVTF purchased WNVU (89.7 FM) in nearby Charles City, Virginia. That station began simulcasting Radio IQ programming in January 2020 (under the new call letters WRIQ), bringing a full-powered Radio IQ signal to Richmond for the first time, providing direct competition for Richmond-based NPR member WCVE-FM and its VPM News service.
|Call sign||Frequency||City of license||ERP
|WIQR||88.7 FM||Lexington, Virginia||3,900||A||FCC|
|WISE-FM||90.5 FM||Wise, Virginia||220||A||FCC|
|WRIQ||89.7 FM||Charles City, Virginia||27,000||B1||FCC|
|WQIQ||88.3 FM||Spotsylvania, Virginia||3,500||A||FCC|
|WVTF[a]||89.1 FM||Roanoke, Virginia||100,000||C||FCC|
|WVTR||91.9 FM||Marion, Virginia||4,500||C2||FCC|
|WVTU||89.3 FM||Charlottesville, Virginia (west)||195||B1||FCC|
|WVTW||88.5 FM||Charlottesville, Virginia (city)||1,000||B1||FCC|
The following stations broadcast Radio IQ on a part-time basis:
|Call sign||Frequency||City of license||ERP
|WEHC||90.7 FM||Emory, Virginia||8,700||C3||FCC||12:00am – 1:00pm daily; 4:00pm – 6:00pm weekdays|
|WLUR||91.5 FM||Lexington, Virginia||175||A||FCC||12:00am – 1:00pm daily; various additional timeslots|
In addition to the main stations, Radio IQ is relayed by an additional 6 translators to widen its broadcast area. It can also be heard on WURV-HD3 in Richmond (which also feeds translator W223AZ).
|City of license||ERP
|W212BP||90.3||Clintwood, Virginia||1||D||FCC FM Query||Relays WISE-FM|
|W217BF||91.3||Pound, Virginia||1||D||FCC FM Query||Relays WISE-FM|
|W219CJ||91.7||Norton, Virginia||50||D||FCC FM Query||Relays WISE-FM|
|W223AZ||92.5||Richmond, Virginia||220||D||FCC FM Query||Relays WURV-HD3|
|W230BD||93.9||Lovingston, Virginia||10||D||FCC FM Query||Relays WVTF|
|W235BT||94.9||Fredericksburg, Virginia||80||D||FCC FM Query||Relays WQIQ|